welcome. why "weak on sanctification"?

this accusation is often made about lutheran christians. because we focus so strongly on god's justifying grace in christ, and our continual need, as "sinner-saints," to receive god's gifts of grace through word and sacrament, people say we are "weak on sanctification." i prefer to say we are strong on jesus, whose sanctifying work in our lives is the fruit of the gospel all along our lifelong journey. i would much rather focus on what he has done than on anything i might do.

the weekly discussion

each week I set forth a topic to promote discourse about some aspect of Christianity, the church, or the spiritual life. i would love to hear your perspective and thoughts on each week's subject. these discussions are usually posted on mondays, so if you missed this week's post and would like to catch up on the conversation, just scroll down and join us.

October 6, 2009

music for grownups

nobody explores the wrinkles around a common man's eyes better than mark knopfler. the former leader of the 80's band dire straits has matured over the years into one of our finest songwriters and musicians. he paints intimate musical portraits, mostly of ordinary people, their work, their loves and losses.

his new album, get lucky, is a masterpiece of genius, poetry, and restraint. knopfler's prodigious skills are never put on display for attention or effect, but always in service of the song and story he is telling, and these stories are profoundly grounded in real life: a truck driver "knocking out a living wage in 1969," the handyman broken down on the shoulder of the road as a metaphor for losing love, day workers sitting around the fire and passing a guitar, the cynical old battle-scarred vet cleaning his gun, mates on the cricket pitch who went to war and never came back.

this earthy and satisfying album will never get the attention received by a host of shooting stars. that is too bad, because this is just the kind of rooted, mature, reflective balladry that a culture caught up in adolescent spectacle needs. this is music for grownups.

highest recommendation. best music i've heard this year, and in a long time.

today's van gogh

head of a peasant with cap, 1884

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the alert. Knopfler is indeed tremendous at depicting characters.

    I was on a long drive with my 15-year-old daughter a few days ago, and we spent most of an hour discussing the portraits of a shop-a-holic Imelda Marcos, Sonny Liston, Georgie laborers, IndyCar drivers, and others as contained in Knopfler's songs.